Taxpayers pay MPs' energy bills on second homes

Taxpayers have paid energy bills from expenses claimed by 19 MPs from the region

Taxpayers have paid energy bills from expenses claimed by 19 MPs from the region

First published in News
Last updated
The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

NINETEEN MPS from the region have claimed back energy bills on expenses, forcing taxpayers to foot the cost.

As many families struggle with fuel poverty and heating bills, an investigation by a national newspaper has revealed that hundreds of MPs have had their energy bills paid by the taxpayer.

More than half of the country’s MPs submitted claims for heating their second homes, amounting to £200,000 a year.

According to the Sunday Mirror, 340 MPs claimed the expenses for energy such as electricity, gas coal or other fuel. Stratford-on-Avon politician, Nadhim Zahawi, submitted the largest claim, totalling nearly £6,000 while Labour leader Ed Miliband claimed back £403.59.

In the region, York Central MP Hugh Bayley submitted the highest bill of £1,773 for gas, logs and coal, followed by Newcastle East MP Nicholas Brown, who claimed £1,174.

The lowest claim was submitted by Hartlepool MP Ian Wright, who claimed back £135.

Jonathan Isaby, political director of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said some of the claims were “unacceptably high”

He told The Northern Echo: "It is fair enough for MPs who need to rent a second home to claim for essential utilities at that property, but taxpayers will be astounded at the size of some of these bills.

“We know only too well that energy doesn't come cheap, but given that they are only staying in these properties for part of the week, some of these claims are unacceptably high.

“Just become someone else - ie the taxpayer - is paying, that doesn't mean that our MPs shouldn't be seeking to keep these bills under control. They should ensure they are using the cheapest supplier and not run up the bill unnecessarily, such as leaving the heating on at times when they are not there, for instance."

A total of 310 MPs in Westminster claimed nothing for fuel bills on second homes.

Darlington MP Jenny Chapman, Middlesbrough South and Cleveland East MP Tom Blenkinsop, Richmond MP and Foreign secretary William Hague didn’t submit a claim. David Miliband and Mary Glindon, MPs for South Shields and Tyneside North also paid their own energy costs.

Energy bill expenses submitted by MPs:

• Hugh Bayley, York Central. £1,773

• Nicholas Brown, Newcastle East £1,174.16

• Phil Wilson, Sedgefield, Labour, £832.73

• Anne McIntosh, Thirsk and Malton. £832

• Catherine McKinnell, Newcastle North £692.37

• Stephen Hepburn, Jarrow, £655.70

• Chi Onwurah. Newcastle Central. £639

• Helen Goodman, Bishop Auckland. £632.43

• Andrew Jones, Harrogate & Knaresborough. £435.92

• Roberta Blackman-Woods, Durham City. £420.00

• James Wharton. Stockton South. £403

• Grahame Morris, Easington. £360.00

• Robert Goodwill, Scarborough and Whitby. £320.73

• Julie Elliott. Sunderland Central. £352

• Alex Cunningham. Stockton North. £337

• Alan Campbell. Tynemouth. £275

• Pat Glass. Durham North-West. £270

• Julian Sturdy, York Outer.£183.34

• Ian Wright. Hartlepool. £135 

Comments (12)

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7:04pm Sun 3 Nov 13

Snilly says...

Phil Wilson.......... I'm from Sedgefield and I want you to return my money.

You have lost my vote for life.
Phil Wilson.......... I'm from Sedgefield and I want you to return my money. You have lost my vote for life. Snilly
  • Score: 17

7:29pm Sun 3 Nov 13

sensible says...

if the MP's have a legitimate base away from home, then I don't see the claiming of related expenses as an issue!
I would agree that the 'top two' have claimed an excessive amount! The others seem entirely proportionate to my own energy costs.
if the MP's have a legitimate base away from home, then I don't see the claiming of related expenses as an issue! I would agree that the 'top two' have claimed an excessive amount! The others seem entirely proportionate to my own energy costs. sensible
  • Score: -16

9:15pm Sun 3 Nov 13

loonyleft says...

Sensible, I think you need to change your user name!!!!!!
Sensible, I think you need to change your user name!!!!!! loonyleft
  • Score: 12

9:51pm Sun 3 Nov 13

Edmondsley says...

We are all in this together?
We are all in this together? Edmondsley
  • Score: 8

9:51pm Sun 3 Nov 13

stevegg says...

Were all in this together alright! Cant take their snouts out of the trough long enough to see how greedy they are! And MP's have the cheek to lecture us on restraint!
Were all in this together alright! Cant take their snouts out of the trough long enough to see how greedy they are! And MP's have the cheek to lecture us on restraint! stevegg
  • Score: 13

10:39pm Sun 3 Nov 13

DURHAM CITY says...

nothing fails to surprise anymore
nothing fails to surprise anymore DURHAM CITY
  • Score: 10

11:11pm Sun 3 Nov 13

darloboss says...

DISCUSTED
DISCUSTED darloboss
  • Score: 5

6:01am Mon 4 Nov 13

darloboss says...

disgusted
disgusted darloboss
  • Score: 6

12:37pm Mon 4 Nov 13

GeordieB says...

Two things spring to mind:

1. What are MPs supposed to spend their wage on if they can get expenses for just about anything?

2. If an MP is claiming more than say £450 in heating costs, is that really a claim for a second home? That sort of consumption kind of implies this is their primary home doesn't it?
Two things spring to mind: 1. What are MPs supposed to spend their wage on if they can get expenses for just about anything? 2. If an MP is claiming more than say £450 in heating costs, is that really a claim for a second home? That sort of consumption kind of implies this is their primary home doesn't it? GeordieB
  • Score: 4

1:15pm Mon 4 Nov 13

Snilly says...

While these scroungers of our money continue to abuse the system THEY SET UP people will die of hypothermia because they can’t afford there fuel bills.

MP’s of this calibre should hang their heads in shame now that they have been named and shamed.

Some MP’s take nothing other money grabbers (our money that they are grabbing) get every penny the can squeeze out of the system, how is that morally fair?
While these scroungers of our money continue to abuse the system THEY SET UP people will die of hypothermia because they can’t afford there fuel bills. MP’s of this calibre should hang their heads in shame now that they have been named and shamed. Some MP’s take nothing other money grabbers (our money that they are grabbing) get every penny the can squeeze out of the system, how is that morally fair? Snilly
  • Score: 4

3:34pm Mon 4 Nov 13

st-george1 says...

Lessons about unacceptable behaviour in public office has already seriously, seriously damaged the Cleveland Police Force and even now 19 of the North East’s members of parliament have again chosen to ignore such lessons regarding what many people will say is disrespecting the voters and another abuse of taxpayers money … and we should say credibility in non-negotiable !
Lessons about unacceptable behaviour in public office has already seriously, seriously damaged the Cleveland Police Force and even now 19 of the North East’s members of parliament have again chosen to ignore such lessons regarding what many people will say is disrespecting the voters and another abuse of taxpayers money … and we should say credibility in non-negotiable ! st-george1
  • Score: 1

4:46pm Mon 4 Nov 13

JetMorgan says...

Are the Heating Costs for when they are 'In Residence' ? Or maybe just to keep it warm for when they return, FIRST CLASS, from their latest Jaunt to London ? What did Blair claim for Myrabella House Heating while he was away ? I am sure the people of Trimdon Station would like to know as they make the decision " Eat or Heat" ??? Anybody want to guess ?
Are the Heating Costs for when they are 'In Residence' ? Or maybe just to keep it warm for when they return, FIRST CLASS, from their latest Jaunt to London ? What did Blair claim for Myrabella House Heating while he was away ? I am sure the people of Trimdon Station would like to know as they make the decision " Eat or Heat" ??? Anybody want to guess ? JetMorgan
  • Score: 0

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